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CNN Live Event/Special

CNN Projects Trump, Biden Win Michigan Primaries; CNN Monitors Presidential Primary Elections Turnout. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 27, 2024 - 22:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I want you to take a look at the votes in the Democratic race. It's a warning sign for President Biden there, a protest vote for uncommitted gaining ground.

Now, this protest vote pushed by opponents of how President Biden is handling the Israel-Hamas War. Many of them desire a permanent ceasefire and they're demanding that the United States government cut military aid to Israel.

Let's take a look at these numbers with 19 percent of the estimated vote in. President Joe Biden, expectingly, has 79.6 percent of the vote. That's a big chunk, 154,576 votes. He's clearly the winner of the night's contest. He has 125,914 votes more than the number two, which is uncommitted with 14.7 percent of the vote, 28,662 votes in the rear, Dean Phillips, congressman, 2.8 percent of the vote.

But what I want you to understand is that, normally in a primary, 20,000 people will vote uncommitted. We only have about 20 percent of the vote in. We've already far surpassed that. So, there is going to be a sizable protest vote tonight that the Biden team is going to have to contend with and worry about because in November, it could come down to just a few thousand votes.

Remember, Trump won Michigan with only 10,000 votes in 2016. Biden won in 2020 with 154,000. So, that uncommitted, that's an important group of folks.

Now, let's look at the Republican side. Donald Trump has scored another decisive win against Nikki Haley. This propels him closer to the Republican presidential nomination with these blockbuster Super Tuesday contests just one week away.

So, Trump's dominance is clear, but Haley is arguing that Mr. Trump is failing to unite the Republican Party and she continues to peel away much of the Republican vote.

Let's take a look at that. 20 percent of the estimated vote in, Donald Trump, as we expected, is in the lead. He is the projected winner. 66.5 percent of the vote. He has 192,910 votes. That's 109,777 votes ahead of Nikki Haley, who has 28.6 percent of the vote. That's 83,304.

But as I noted earlier, it is important to remember the narrow margin of victory in Michigan. Joe Biden, no doubt about it, is going to be targeting these 83,304 people who don't want to vote for Donald Trump, even though he's clearly going to be their nominee.

So, let's talk about this all with John King, who is standing at the magic wall. And there's a lot going on here, even though for contests where there are two decisive victories, I have to say, there is a lot going on here.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've said this throughout the primary so far about former President Trump and we're going to say it tonight about President Biden. Even as you see their strengths, and both candidates have considerable strengths, on nights like this, you also see their weaknesses, or at least there are, you know, places where they need to do repair work.

TAPPER: The slips are showing.

KING: 15 percent.


KING: 15 percent of the vote tonight. You have a Democratic incumbent president, 3 percent voting for Congressman Phillips. So, if you just want to say I want someone else, you had an opportunity, this is an I'm mad at you. It's a protest vote, the bulk of it. The bulk of that is about the Israel-Hamas conflict and the view of Arab-Americans, younger voters and others, liberals, that the president is too quick to side with Netanyahu not doing enough for the Palestinians.

The White House would argue, wait, you know, it's a long time since October 7th, pay attention. But here's the -- you know, the president has repair work to do here.

It's interesting, the repair work, you look at 15 percent in a key battleground state that tends to, you know, pick our presidents, be one of the two or three to pick our presidents, you say, where's the problem? I would argue, and we're still waiting, by the way, this is the most important part, how high does the number go, how high does the number of votes and the percentage statewide by the end of the night for uncommitted depends on Wayne County and we're nowhere in the count.

TAPPER: 4 percent.

KING: That is quite traditional.

TAPPER: What are they doing?

KING: No, that is quite traditional. I've been doing this a long time.

TAPPER: Right.

KING: You know, Wayne County, Gary, Indiana, I could go on, but we'll just stick with Wayne County right now since we're in Michigan, it takes them a long time to count the votes. So, we're waiting for that.

But that's going to have a huge say both in your total number because it's the population center and it's also where Dearborn is. It's Detroit, it's Dearborn, total number and the percentage.

But just to make a point here, if you look, if you come up here, just to look -- let's just pick over here, you know, Kent County, the suburbs, Grand Rapids and the suburbs around it, uncommitted here, getting right now, 12 percent of about 14 percent. So, I'm not saying that's, you know, that's a wound or, you know, the President Biden has to, has to heal. But then you come here, Debbie Dingell was just talking about this, Washtenaw County, where the university is, it's above 20 percent.

And so the targeted problem for the president is younger voters and the Arab-Americans, Muslim Americans, people of Middle Eastern descent, 300,000 of them live in the state of Michigan.


TAPPER: That's where Ann Arbor is, or no?

KING: No. Ann Arbor is where I just showed you, yes. This is where Ann Arbor is, yes. Ann Arbor is here.

TAPPER: The University of Michigan.

KING: I've been on that campus, and just, it's high. The anger, the temper, the frustration is high. And you have people there saying --

TAPPER: A lot of academics, too.

KING: A lot of academics, but a lot of young people, a lot of young people who voted for Biden in 2020, some of whom say, you know, they're voting uncommitted tonight as a protest. They're not Donald Trump fans.

There was one young man we talked about there, he's actually from Georgia, helped the ACLU register voters in 2020 to help Joe Biden win, who said he's going to vote third party.

Now he has -- you know, it's easy for people at home, he has socialist leanings, he's way left. People can go, oh, it's just one kid, whatever. He's a socialist. But in a competitive election, every vote counts. You know, people say the same, a lot of Democrats say the same thing about Trump voters, speak of them in disparaging ways. You have one vote, I have one vote, they have one vote. When the elections are closed, that's what matters.

But you do see -- that's why this Wayne County vote is so important, because you do see, you know, it's 24 percent now early on. So, the president has some healing to do, and it's very important in the state so close, it will be targeted mostly in the Detroit area and on the college campuses. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist elsewhere, but that's the biggest part of the problem.

And, Jake, you see the same exact thing on the other side. The Haley campaign, it's hard to argue with their point tonight. Uncommitted is getting 15 percent right now, and we're saying Joe Biden has some work to do. Well, she's getting 30 percent, and we're saying that's an overwhelming win. Both things are true, both things are true. He has some work to do too.

And, again, if you look at the map, where is the work, you come up to some of these rural counties, you just pick one out up here. Donald Trump is getting 77 percent. The rural base of the Trump party is still with Trump. Then you come down to Macomb County here. The blue collar base of the new Trump Republican party is with Donald Trump. But then just drive a little bit, leave Slim Shady and come over here to the suburbs, and look what happens, Nikki Haley gets 30 percent in the suburbs. Donald Trump still has, even as he rolls to the Republican nomination, still has weaknesses in America's suburbs. That's why Joe Biden is president.

TAPPER: And just keep in mind, this is who turned out to vote, right, it's the people who turned out to vote, and it's pretty clear, I'm sure to everybody who voted today, that Donald Trump is going to be the nominee and they still turned out to vote for Nikki Haley. So, in many ways, they're voting for Nikki Haley, but in others it's a protest vote just as much as uncommitted.

KING: So, how much of those uncommitted come home and how much harder -- either harder to get home or refuse to come home, it's the very same question there.

How many of those are Republicans who will vote for him in November? They just prefer her today, and how many of them are saying, okay, I can't vote for him. So, once she's done, assuming that's soon, if it happens, unless there's a miracle, where do they go?

TAPPER: If there's any good news for Joe Biden in this, it is, some of these people are going to be gettable, some of these Nikki Haley people are going to be gettable for Biden. I don't know how many of the uncommitted people are going to be gettable for Trump, maybe for Jill Stein, maybe for Cornell West, but for Trump, I don't know. The other thing is that Nikki Haley's number is much bigger.

Let's go to Dearborn now, the center of this protest movement. Jeff Zeleny is there covering the Democrats and the protest for uncommitted, the protest vote.

Jeff, what are proponents of that protest vote saying about the results tonight as they come in?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we have just stepped outside the event for celebrating the success, in their view, of this uncommitted movement here. We are in Dearborn, of course, the heart of the Arab-American and Muslim American populations here.

And as John was talking, we are in Wayne County. So, those are the numbers that are still going to be coming in. And that is likely to add a -- it is going to add a significant margin to the uncommitted.

But regardless of the final number, organizers here and supporters here, they believe they have already won a measure of success because they believe they've sent a message loud and clear to President Biden, and indeed, they have. We've seen his language change in recent months. The question is, what do the voters and the organizers do from here forward?

Just a short time ago, the House Democratic floor leader of the Michigan State House, he said, we're going on to Chicago, we are going to the Democratic National Convention to protest in the streets. This anti-war movement is growing.

So, that is not going to go away. This is something that is going to continue. And it will be a soundtrack of this presidential campaign. There is no doubt about that.

However, talking to another businessman who is just leaving this event just a few moments ago, he said he voted uncommitted because he did want to register a protest vote. I said, how will you vote in November? He said, I don't know. Once it becomes a choice, he said, between President Biden and former president Donald Trump, he said he desperately wants to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. So, he said, that will be a difficult decision to make.

I suspect that he sums up the sentiment of many rank and file voters who voted uncommitted today. Of course, the organizers are committed to this cause, but this is something that is going to stay with the White House, stay with the president.

Now, uncommitted votes are not necessarily an uncommon occurrence.


I remember thinking back to the 2012 campaign, Barack Obama also had some uncommitted on the ranks. The difference here is the substance of why it is uncommitted. It is because of the war, it's because of the president's handling of the war, and that is a burning issue here that is so deeply personal.

And, Jake, that is not likely to change anytime soon unless there is a permanent ceasefire, and we all know how difficult that will be.

TAPPER: Anti-war protesters taking to the streets of Chicago for the Democratic National Convention. What could go wrong? What could go wrong?

Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much.

Joining our conversation now, the National co-chair for the Biden- Harris presidential campaign and former senior adviser to President Biden, former Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu.


TAPPER: You used to be somebody.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Now you're sitting here with us.

LANDRIEU: I like get stuck on this panel.

TAPPER: This is a muscle flex from a group that is not happy with Joe Biden and they are making a point.

LANDRIEU: Yes. Well, can I can I make a point?

TAPPER: Please.

LANDRIEU: 80 percent. 80 percent. I mean, that's the fourth one that we've been in. Joe Biden had a really, really strong night tonight. You can't cut it any other way than that. That is not to say that the uncommitted vote wasn't substantial. They're sending a message. The president, as you know, has gotten the message. The president has sent the number of senior advisers out to Michigan to talk about this. This is a very complicated issue.

The president continues to make sure that we put American interests first and is working hard, as you know, on humanitarian aid, working on a ceasefire, so that we can actually get the hostages out and continues to listen to this very difficult pain that communities are going through all across the country, both in the Jewish community and the Muslim and the Palestinian community as well. That message has been delivered. It's going to keep getting delivered and the president is going to continue to listen.

But let's just make the point about what happened in Michigan tonight. Donald Trump got 66 of the vote. Nikki Haley got 30, whatever she got. That's a big chunk of change.


LANDRIEU: And Joe Biden got 80 and uncommitted got 14. So, you would much rather be Joe Biden tonight the Donald Trump. Because at the end of the day, when people focus in on this race, it's going to be Joe Biden in the future versus Donald Trump in the past, and people are going to really have to make a decision about what direction they want the country to go in.

BASH: The campaign initially sent up some campaign advisers and important people in Michigan, like the mayor of Dearborn said, no, I want to hear from the policy people. And then the White House sent some policy people.


BASH: When is he going to go? When is the president going to go?

LANDRIEU: Oh, I don't know. I'm sure it's sometimes many of us have been --

BASH: Because they want to be heard. And the way to be heard is to actually have a conversation --

LANDRIEU: When the first -- I think when the campaign manager went, they said, we really want to talk to policy people, and, as you know, the next week, they sent really three senior people. And the meeting, although it was tough and it was hard, was a heartfelt meeting where the leaders took back to the White House with the thoughts of -- I was in Michigan last week. I was in Flint, Michigan. I also was with some folks from the operating engineers (ph). I talked to pastors in the African-American community who talked to law enforcement, got a great response.

But to be clear, the president hears what it is that the folks in Michigan are saying and what the uncommitted team is asking us to think about. And he's putting that into his thought about how to move forward on this very complicated, very difficult issue, which, as you know, we are really not driving the train on.

And it is not something that's going to be easy. You saw the president, I think, yesterday getting ice cream when somebody asked him, well, what's going on with this? And he said, look, I expect from my advisers hopefully to have some news on great humanitarian aid and then, of course, hopefully at least a temporary ceasefire so they can get the hostages out, which is a critical problem.

But the president believes that people ought to voice their opinion. People in Michigan are doing that. And, of course, people across the country will continue to do that. And he will take that into consideration as he moves forward on this very complicated and difficult issue.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Mr. Mayor, can we just broaden this conversation out for a second?

LANDRIEU: I'd love to.

CHALIAN: If the -- I understand that the election is not until the fall. If the election were today, would Joe Biden lose re-election?

LANDRIEU: I don't think so.

CHALIAN: What is it about the state of Michigan? Do you think it is behaving with its, you know, battleground status substantially different than some of the other battleground states? Is it just this issue that we're talking about? Is there something else going on that you think that you and the team in Wilmington see in the data that Michigan somehow is proving more problematic for Joe Biden at this time in the campaign than some of the other battleground states?

LANDRIEU: Well that's an excellent question. I'll leave it up to you guys and gals. You can run the numbers better than I can. Each state is different. New Hampshire is different, of course, in South Carolina, South Carolina is different from Nevada, Nevada is very different. From Michigan, Michigan is a very diverse state. It does have a very heavy Muslim population. And so because of this particular issue, whether you can compare it to other states or not, I mean, I really don't know.

You made a comment just before, I think in 2012, just to remind everybody, 60 delegates, Obama lost in Michigan and then went on to do really fairly well. And they were uncommitted, almost in every campaign, that approximate, they may be a little bit lower, they may be a little higher.


So, it's not a death sentence. It's a challenge that you have to work through.

On the other side of the aisle, if you're Donald Trump and Nikki Haley is clocking in 40 percent, and then she's clocking in 30 percent, and then the exit polls, half of those people are saying, I'm never voting for Trump, that's a real serious problem. This one is a serious problem that we have to deal with, we have to work through. And at the end of the day, the president has to make the case that he's the one that can help provide the better future for America.

And I think Joe Biden has got the receipts on this. I mean, all of you have covered Joe Biden's presidency. Joe Biden created 15 million jobs. We have the lowest unemployment rate. We now have 46,000 infrastructure projects going on across the country. We have $650 billion of private sector investment and we've got the receipts. You got a guy otherwise who just talks about things that is now talking about oppression, revenge and actually looking backward.

And I think when Americans look at that choice really clearly and the fairy dust leaves the eyes of all the pundits about how it's not going to be Biden or it's not going to be Trump, it is going to be them, then we're going to really kind of get down to (INAUDIBLE).

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What do you think accounts, though, for the fact that Biden is underperforming with his coalition, with people who brought him to the presidency in 2020, not just Muslim voter, American voters, young voters? Polls show they are struggling with Hispanic voters, black voters also. Why is the president having such a hard time convincing those voters to support him?

LANDRIEU: Well, you say that because you've been looking at the polls. But when you look at the results from the primaries, he did exceedingly well in every primary that he's had, clocking in 80, 85, 90, 96 percent.

RAJU: But he's got to win some of these voters back in Michigan.

LANDRIEU: Well, yes. And some of Nikki Haley's people are looking for some place to land too. So, it's about building coalitions.

But at the end of the day, it's about a choice about what kind of America you want to live in. And Joe Biden has kind of painted a picture of what the future of Americans can look like that includes everybody, that actually builds things from the bottom up in the middle out. Donald Trump continues to talk about revenge. He continues to talk about giving tax breaks to the rich. He continues to talk about trying to find a way, to find immunity, if you can, for him to order SEAL Team 6 to kill political opponents. That ought to freeze everybody in their tracks right away about what we're facing and how much worse Donald Trump is going to be than how bad he was the first time he was in office.

TAPPER: Well, can we talk about the issue on the table here, which is this uncommitted vote because of the president's policies and his support for Netanyahu in the Middle East? Do you think there is any --

LANDRIEU: There's support for Israel.

TAPPER: There's support for Israel and the manifestation of that is the support for the prime minister of Israel, which is Netanyahu. But it's actually interesting that you corrected me because don't you think that the kind of result that the president wants and is pushing for will not happen, by his own words, with Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister? And if that's the case, does President Biden want Benny Gantz to drop out of the war cabinet and run against him for prime minister?

LANDRIEU: Well, I'm not going to get ahead of the president on any of those things, and I'm not going to pretend to be Jake Sullivan. You can ask him that when he comes on your program.

I made that point because the president, as you know, has been a big supporter of Israel. Israel has a right to exist. Israel has a right to protect itself, and the president has historically been there. That's where he is now.

He also has demonstrated, I think, in the last month or so, about the commitment that he has to make sure that he's pushing as hard as he can on the leaders of Israel who, by the way, the president does not get to choose. That's why this is really complicated, because the American president can't say who he wants the prime minister of Israel to be. You have to work with who is there.

But the president has put, as you know, publicly, he has set up, put pressure on Bibi to do the things that I need him to do in the most humanitarian way as possible. But war is -- as you know this, war is really hard. All of the pictures, all of the deaths on both sides are awful. It's a terrible situation. It's very complicated and difficult. And the president will continue to prosecute his case publicly, and, of course, as you know, privately, very aggressively, as his team has been doing.

BASH: You said that you did spend some time in Michigan, including Flint. What did you hear from the community there? I assume that you spent some time with the African-American community in Flint.


BASH: What did you hear about their concerns? We've been talking a lot tonight about uncommitted and of course that is about the Mideast, but as Manu was talking about, there are other very important constituents.

LANDRIEU: Yes, I think that's right. I think they're a lot of late. There's labor in the African-American, as women.

What I generally heard in the meetings that I were in is thanks to the president who are finally delivering on promises that have been made in the African-American community, the funding for HBCUs. Of course, when we were in Flint, we were actually talking about the president's commitment to make sure that everybody has clean water. BASH: What else did they want?

LANDRIEU: All of the pipes in Flint now have been replaced. Small business help, also making sure the jobs are available. So, when we talk to the local operating engineers, they were thrilled about the infrastructure projects that were going on, that we're creating high- paying jobs.


The sheriff of that particular county said to me, please put me on T.V. so I can tell the people how much law enforcement thanks him for the work that he's doing.

This is a campaign. Everybody now has an opportunity to say to the president, what do I need going forward? And what people really want at the end of the day is they want a country that is forward-looking, they want a country that's inclusive, they want a country that actually gives people from the bottom and the middle up an opportunity, which is what the president has done.

And, listen, he's got the receipts, 15 million jobs. Donald Trump lost 2.5 million jobs. That's a 17 million job swing. That's a big deal, no matter where you count it. And when we tell the people about that, when the choice is really clear, because I have a lot of faith in the American citizens as the president, Joe Biden is going to get re- elected again.

TAPPER: All right. Mitch Landrieu, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it.

LANDRIEU: Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: As we get more and more votes in from the state of Michigan, we're going to get a read on what we're learning from tonight's results and the prospects for Michigan voters to be the ultimate deciders of the November fight for the White House.

We're back in a moment.


TAPPER: We have key race alert time for you now. Let's look at the board with 24 percent of the estimated vote in and incumbent President Joe Biden is, of course, the winner of the Michigan Democratic Party primary, rather, 79.7 percent of the vote, 184,149 votes.


That's more than 150,000 votes more than number two, which is uncommitted, which has 14.5 percent of the vote, and Dean Phillips bringing up the rear with 2.8 percent.

But as we noted earlier, Michigan generally has 20,000 people who vote uncommitted. But there is an effort to have a protest vote, people who don't like President Biden's support of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, they want a ceasefire, they want military aid to Israel end and they were calling for an uncommitted vote. So, on top of the 23,000 that we normally expect, we have an additional, now 33,492 total, and it's only a quarter of the vote in.

So, that is the significant story of the night in addition to President Biden, of course, winning the Democratic primary.

Let's go to the Republican side now. Donald Trump, of course, we declared him the winner of the Michigan Republican primary.

He has 66.7 percent of the vote. That's 237,243 votes, 136,000, and change ahead of Nikki Haley, who has 28.3 percent of the vote, Nikki Haley with 100,630 votes. And, again, as I said before about the uncommitted vote, that is 100,000 people, Republican voters in Michigan, who do not want Donald Trump to be the nominee.

Where are they going to go in November? That is the conundrum, and that is why we are watching this race with fascination and baited breath, John King. Where are the votes coming in from?

KING: You make a key point. People watching at home are going to say on the one hand, well, this is a blowout.


KING: Why are they saying there's something to learn here? Well, A, there's always something to learn, but, B, you have two essentially incumbents, Joe Biden for the Democrats, Donald Trump, the former president for the Republicans, who have giant strengths and yet significant important weaknesses worth studying as you go forward.

For the incumbent president of the United States, Mayor Landrieu was just trying to make the point, 80 percent to 15 percent, okay. Don't have to be a rocket scientist. You can do the math at home.


KING: However, that's an unhappy protest vote against the president because of issues today or the last several months. Most of that is because of people who disagree with his conduct, his siding with Netanyahu, with his near view over siding with Netanyahu in the Israel-Hamas conflict. They're Arab-Americans. They're younger voters. They're more.

And so where are they? We still -- this is the frustration tonight, but this is the frustration every election.

TAPPER: Come on, Detroit.

KING: In Michigan, Wayne County counts slowly. We love baseball. Wayne County counts slowly. Those things will never change.


KING: Apparently, that's the way it goes. You move over here. This is interesting. Again, as I was saying earlier, you try to -- where is your weakness bigger, college county. This is -- Washtenaw County is where University of Michigan and other campuses.

So, the presence -- the healing the president is going to have to do if he's going to get these people back is to get on college campuses, number one, and talk to young people who also, even before that, there's an age disconnect. Even before that, we saw some evidence the president had problems with younger voters.

And then the other issue is going to be -- Jeff Zeleny spent on several times tonight. He's right here, I-94 out of Detroit, you get to Dearborn. It is a thriving, wonderful Arab-American community. And they are very, very mad at the president that they help elect. They just are. They are very, very mad at the president they help elect. The question is, you know, uncommitted tonight, where are you in November? And it's 24 percent in Wayne County right now. That math is going to go up as we get more votes, without a doubt.

So, you have strength, but a weakness. And if you flip the table, you see the same. Because if we're -- you know, again, the Haley campaign is saying this, I'm not just repeating them to repeat them, there's some basis to it, if Joe Biden has issues at 15 percent, well, then why doesn't Donald Trump have issues when I'm at 28 percent? And she is correct. And, again, you look at where those issues are, which is fascinating to me.

In blue, Collar, Macomb County, this is -- again, these people used to be Democrats. Then there was the big fight about Reagan Democrats in the 80s and early 90s. They're Trump Republicans now. He carried Macomb County. This is the big fight. Will the United Auto Workers endorsement help Joe Biden? Can he get the Teamsters' endorsement? Can he convince blue collar people to come back to him?

Well, tonight, the Republicans in Macomb County, Michigan, are saying we're still with him, right? That's not a big number. It's still 18 percent. But then you come over here to the suburbs, and it goes to 32. I mean, these people don't live that far from each other.

But this is blue collar. This is more upscale suburbs. That's Donald Trump's kryptonite, or the American suburbs, without a doubt, as you watch it play out. And yet, and yet, Donald Trump is 5-0.

TAPPER: Run in the table.

KING: 6-0 if you count the Virgin Islands.

And let me just slide over one second right here for me. And so two weeks from tonight, two weeks from tonight, if this continues at the pace it is right now, you see where he is right now, he's going to get the bulk of the Michigan delegates, she may get four or five, depending on that statewide percentage there, maybe more, maybe less. But two weeks from tonight, we're on a path to that.

But unless she somehow starts beating him, he's undefeated, unless she somehow turns this tide, which there's no data to suggest that's about to happen all the data is on contrary two weeks from tonight, even though, yes, he has weaknesses, he's going to be the Republican nominee.


TAPPER: So, just to go back to the number for one second, I just want to show -- show the Biden, the Democratic number here in Michigan for one second. And I just want people at home to remember this.

Okay, so this is 35,046. Maybe some Democrats are saying, why are you making such a big deal out of it? I mean, the number is going to be bigger. We only got a quarter of the vote in.

It's 35,000. So, theoretically, that could be 140,000, maybe. I'm just extrapolating. But it's 35,000. Let's just stick with that, because that's an actual number, okay? Let's go to the Republican one now, 35,000 uncommitted. And for Nikki Haley, 107,640.

And probably a lot of people at home, Republicans or Democrats, Trump supporters, Biden supporters are saying, it's not really that many people. Just remember, in 2016, Donald Trump won Michigan with -- he won by about 10,000 votes. He won by about 10,000 votes.

And in 2020, Joe Biden won Michigan by about 154,000 votes. So, these small margins can cost the candidates, the state, come November. Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go to Kylie Atwood, covering the Nikki Haley campaign from the Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the Super Tuesday states that Haley's competing in next week.

So, 15 states, Kylie, vote a week from today. How is the Haley camp planning to take on this key test? I mean, this is it for them.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is it, Anderson, well put. This is the most consequential week, to date, for Nikki Haley's campaign. And she herself has raised the stakes incredibly high, because when she's asked about the American people, the Republican Party siding with Trump, she often points out that only a few states have voted.

But then she points out that after Super Tuesday, there will be more than 20 states and territories that have voted. And so she has put the stakes incredibly high for her campaign leading into that week.

Now, by Super Tuesday, she will have visited 10 states that are going to vote on that day. We're in Utah. That's one of the states she's going to be visiting here tomorrow. And her job is really two-fold as she's out on the campaign trail this week.

First, of course, trying to win over those voters. But then second is trying to raise new campaign cash. She had her most successful fundraising month to date in January. But we don't know how much campaign cash her campaign currently has in the bank. It's noteworthy that in the 48 hours since the South Carolina primary, even though she lost it, she was able to haul in two million dollars in new donations. That's what a campaign official tells me. But also this week, Anderson, we should note that the Koch political network, AFP, also decided that they are no longer going to be boosting her campaign.

They're going to be focusing on down-ballot candidates instead. So, with those two realities, it is important for her when she's headed to these states, she's going to meet with donors as well to try and get more cash into her campaign bank account in order to fuel her campaign. If she wants to go past Super Tuesday. Anderson.

COOPER: Kylie Atwood, thanks so much. Even as Nikki Haley is losing another primary contest to Donald Trump tonight, she tells our Dana Bash she's committed to staying in the race, at least through the Super Tuesday contest next week.


BASH: You're committing that you are going to be in this race through Super Tuesday.

NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, we are in all the Super Tuesday states now. That's what this is all about, is making sure that we hit every state --

BASH: So, yes.

HALEY: -- And letting them know, look, there is a voice out there for you. There is a way out. Yes. We are fighting through. Yes.

BASH: Yes. Unequivocally. You're in through Super Tuesday.

HALEY: Absolutely. And we have a country to save. Absolutely.


COOPER: Here with the team in New York. So, David, during the break, you were asking the question, what is Haley's endgame?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, because you don't, you know, she's not talking about delegates anymore. She's not really suggesting that she's going to win this contest. You saw the math that John King just put up on the board.

But she -- she said, we are offering voters a life raft from what she thinks is going to be disaster in the fall. And it feels like she's sort of setting herself up for the post-Trump era if Trump loses in the fall, that she is going to be the one who said, I stood up for, you know, for principle. I told you that this was going to be that we need to take a different direction.

The thing is, though, when you heard the conversation with Dana and we know what Nikki Haley stands for, she's a -- she's a strong on national security, fiscal conservative. She is the kind of Republican that once was the dominant Republican in the party. That is not the drift of the Republican Party now.

So, the question is, is she fighting to lead a party that doesn't want to go? She has provided a life raft. No one is scram or just two- thirds of people aren't scrambling into the boat.


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But I would argue -- sorry, Abby. I would argue the question is less. What is Nikki Haley going to do next? And how is Donald Trump going to get the 30 to 40 percent she's consistently held. There are deep, substantive differences between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump. She's not an election denier.

She supports aid to Ukraine. We've not talked about this tonight. This is one of the biggest issues happening in our country, but internationally right now.

And there are Republicans who will not be with Republicans if they continue to block this aid package. She's talking about budgets and deficits. There are she's making real contrast to Donald Trump.

And even if just say 10 percent of her supporters can never be with Donald Trump, that is enough to hold him up in a general election.

AXELROD: So, what -- so are you saying that -- so, what I'm -- so explain how this all plays out. Are you saying he should change his position on these issues? Are you saying --

GRIFFIN: But he's not -- he does not have a winning coalition right now? He's running on attacking IVF, Taylor Swift, football, and like, people want a normal Republican Party, like one-third of normal Republicans who are grasping for anything else. Many of them will not be with him.

COOPER: Abby, we have another --

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Look, I do think you're right that Donald Trump is demonstrating a lot of weaknesses, as he has every time he has run for President. The one thing, though, is that I do think that we've seen evidence of Republicans generally coming home to the Republican Party.

Many Republicans probably that you know who don't like Donald Trump, but would not cast a vote for Joe Biden and cast a vote for Trump instead as the lesser of two evils. So, we have to keep in mind that that is still on the table for probably a large swath of that 30 percent.

But as it relates to Nikki Haley and what she's doing, it does strike me just in listening to her tonight and listening to her over the last few weeks, she's making a case for herself. Maybe not in this cycle, but maybe in the next one. She's the last woman standing.

She's putting up 30 percent, 40 percent against Donald Trump and doing so in a way that I think she thinks is leaving herself open to the possibility of being able to run when Trump can't be on the ballot again and saying, well, it's just time to turn the page. Look at what I did the last time, because people like Ron DeSantis are not sitting on their hands right now. They're preparing for the next go round.

And by staying in this race, she really shows that she has the ability to go. The longer she stays in, the more votes she gets, the more money she raises, the more name I.D. she gets. This is not bad for her.

COOPER: Sorry. Nina.

NINA TURNER, CO-CHAIR, BERNIE SANDERS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: She's at a point of no return, so I'm agreeing with Abby. She really has nothing to lose, but let us not forget she has weaknesses, too. I mean, she couldn't even win her own state.

And we're also making an assumption that even when Mr. Trump is not running for President, he's still going to hold enormous sway over the party. And there is a disconnect between the Republican Party that Nikki Haley is talking about and the Republican Party that is.

And my last point, she denied, you know, she's the candidate that denied what the Civil War -- why the Civil War started. And a lot of people are not going to forget that, especially the African-American community. So, it's not just Mr. Donald J. Trump that has deficiencies. She does, too.

But the point about what type of Republican Party will this continue to be, I believe that former President Donald J. Trump is going to have sway over this party for many, many decades.

BAKARI SELLERS CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There are a couple of points I wanted to make. The first is that this is why, when we juxtapose the races tonight, I believe that Joe Biden's having a much stronger night than Donald Trump.

I mean, we have the 33 -- 34,000 voters that are uncommitted. And the Biden White House has to be extremely careful not to just discard that. They need to listen to the emotions of those voters, hear them out, and understand what their anger is from.

UNKNOWN: That's first. Sorry. Go ahead.

SELLERS: No, but the other thing that is very important is that Donald Trump has his grip on the Republican Party. This is Donald Trump's Republican Party. Nobody can duplicate that, not even Nikki Haley. What is she going to do to maintain any relevance over the next four years?

GRIFFIN: She didn't even spend money in Michigan, and she spent --

SELLERS: Because they're not voting for her. They're voting against him.

GRIFFIN: Correct. That'll matter in a general.

LEE ZELDIN (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: This time I would have to respectfully disagree with my friend Bakari.

SELLERS: That's going to bode well for me.

ZELDIN: That's right. I'm getting your followers back, the CNN audience, from us agreeing earlier. There's a big enthusiasm gap. If you look right now, there's, you know, 26 -- 27 percent of the vote in between the Democratic turnout, the Republican turnout.

The Republican turnout is right now far trouncing the Democratic turnout. And that's the percentage of the total vote that we're waiting to come in. It'll be interesting to see what comes in from Wayne County. Yes, I get that. But President Trump's number at the moment is actually more than all of the Democratic Party primary voters together.

So, I would say that President Trump, when looking at the amount of people who are coming out to vote for him tonight, would be very encouraged by the amount of votes that he is getting compared to all the Democrats who have shown up.


UNKNOWN: It's a really important point here.

UNKNOWN: Quickly.

AXELROD: I just want to say what this underscores is how much each candidate is relying on the other candidate to organize the vote that they don't have right now to come home in November.

COOPER: Just over a quarter of the Michigan vote is in. We're keeping an eye on the total for the uncommitted vote on the Democratic side. Up next, a key advocate of that protest campaign joins us to discuss the message being sent to the President tonight. A lot more ahead. We'll be right back.


COOPER: And we're back with our live coverage of the Michigan primaries. And we're just getting new reaction from President Biden to the results and his victory, as well as the strong protest vote for uncommitted in the Democratic contest. Let's check in with M.J. Lee at the White House. M.J., what does the President have to say?

M.J. LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we've just gotten the official statement from President Biden via the campaign. It doesn't make any explicit reference to the uncommitted campaign, but it does acknowledge the fact that voters spoke out tonight.

Here's what the statement says in part, "I want to thank every Michigander who made their voice heard today, exercising the right to vote and participating in our democracy is what makes America great."


The President says, "Four years ago, it was Michigan's diverse coalition that came together to reject Donald Trump's MAGA extremism and sent me and Kamala to the White House. And because of Michiganders, we've been able to work hand in hand with Governor Whitmer and the incredible Democratic leaders in Michigan's congressional delegation to deliver enormous progress."

He goes on to talk about how despite all of this progress, there's a lot of work to be done and says that Donald Trump is threatening to drag us even further into the past as he pursues revenge and retribution.

So, clearly there is this quick allusion to the uncommitted effort and the fact that voters went out and spoke their minds. But that quick pivot to the general election, which is really what we've seen the Biden campaign do over the last many weeks.

You know, the White House and the President is certainly concerned and very much knows that this, tonight, what we saw in Michigan, very much represents the anger and the frustration that so many people are feeling across the country, particularly as the Israel-Hamas war is dragging on.

And I do think that this is why we have seen such a significant shift in rhetoric from the President in the recent days, including yesterday when we heard him talking openly about wanting to see a ceasefire.

These are all issues that the White House is grappling with and hoping that things can get better as the war changes to a different part and a different stage in the fighting.

And of course, they understand the important constituencies that are at play in Michigan. And they're saying that it is not a monolithic state and they know that it is not a single issue state and certainly that there are a number of different kinds of constituencies that they are fighting hard to hopefully win over come November. Jake.

TAPPER: All right, M.J. Lee, thanks so much. Let's go to John King now. John, you have some new information about the uncommitted vote.

KING: It's a couple of important new ways to look at this, Jake, including the first votes from Dearborn where you saw Jeff Zeleny at the dinner where they were organizing the big protests. Obviously, that is ground zero for the Muslim- American population in Michigan.

Forgive me, I just want to pull up this blackboard here. First I want to show you Wayne County. Dearborn is right here to the west of Detroit. These are the Wayne County results. It's been frustrating. Wayne County always counts slow.

They're only at four percent of the estimated vote. We know that none of this that you're seeing, President Biden at 71 percent, uncommitted at 24 percent. This does not include any votes from Dearborn.

But CNN has obtained from the city some of their vote counts. So, let me pull up this blackboard here and I'll write them in for you. Forgive me for turning my back, but I'm left handed. Let me move this over here. I'm going to put this here. These are the unofficial results from the city of Dearborn, but on city letterhead. This is what Joe Biden received. Again, forgive me, 1141 votes. Dean Phillips, 54 votes. And uncommitted, make sure I get this right, 3703 votes.

So, that's a wow if you look at it this way. This is 23 percent and this is 75 percent. And so, this is just the city of Dearborn. But that is where the biggest pocket of the Muslim American, the Arab American population. This is a place President Biden carried big time in 2020.

This is key to his chances of defeating Donald Trump in Michigan. Again, now 75 percent to 23 percent in the city of Dearborn. We're waiting to get even more results from Wayne County.

But this just tells you, again, it's going to raise the total number without a doubt. Let me turn this off. That's uncommitted. Yes, uncommitted is 75 percent, 23 percent for President Biden, which is going to raise number one, those 3700 votes are not reflected in the 2000 there from Wayne County.

So, it's going to raise the numbers in Wayne County to begin with. And it's going to obviously raise the percentage in Wayne County when you see the lopsided percentage of this right there.

So, you see in the city we were looking at most closely for how mad, how mad are people at the President? That's a very significant number out of Dearborn. That's one way to look at it. I just want to also come back and look at it this way.

So, we're looking at the state of Michigan. There are about 300,000 people who live in the state whose family roots tie back to the Middle East region. Two hundred thousand Muslim-Americans live in the city of Michigan.

So, let's take this and look through a demographic lens of the Michigan Muslim population. Let me move this up so you can see it a little better. The darker the yellow or the orange, the more brown here, that's Dearborn.

That's Wayne County and Dearborn. The darker the color, the higher the percentage of Muslim Americans, right? So, remember that. Remember where you see the growth and the concentration of the Muslim population.

And so now, we're going to say, where are the votes for uncommitted that we have so far? Where are they coming from? So, we're going to bring this in and lay it over it right here. The larger the circle, the higher the vote for uncommitted in that area.

Remember, you see those big circles? Where are they? They're over Wayne County. They're over Dearborn.


They're over those other surrounding suburbs right around Detroit where you have the largest Muslim American population.

So, yes, uncommitted is getting votes everywhere. But the big concentration tells you, Jake, the President's big problem. Muslim- Americans who were critical, absolutely critical to his big margin in Michigan in 2020 are telling the President tonight that they are mad.

TAPPER: Indeed. John King, thanks so much. Joining us now is a key supporter of the protest vote for uncommitted in tonight's primary, former Democratic Congressman Andy Levin of Michigan. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.

You're one of the leading voices who urged Democrats to vote uncommitted today to send a message to President Biden to support a ceasefire and to end military aid to Israel. Did this protest achieve what you hoped it would?

Right now we're at, let me look at the board here, you're about to hit 40,000 votes for uncommitted with, that's just only 31 percent of the overall estimated vote in. So, you're headed to big numbers. Did this achieve what you wanted?

ANDY LEVIN (D) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I mean, this is historic, Jake. It looks like there will be over 100,000 uncommitted voters in Michigan. Joe Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes in 2020. And this is not in the presidential contest. This is in a primary where there was no drama and no uncertainty, right? And we know Joe Biden is going to be our nominee.

So it's a very, very significant outcome. I don't take any joy in it. I hasten to say my idea of this was not that I was going to go out and get people who are otherwise going to come out and vote for the President, to vote uncommitted. My worry was that this primary would happen and the President wouldn't get the message about how mad people are.

So, I was saying to all those Arab-American and other Muslim and African-American and young and all these other voters who are so mad at the President about Gaza, don't stay home. Don't stay home. Go out and shake your fist. Go to the ballot box and tell the President you're mad. Otherwise he won't know. And I think that message is being effectively communicated tonight.

BASH: Congressman, it's Dana Bash. I want to ask about something that the Democratic floor leader of the Michigan House said, and that is that this movement is on to Chicago, meaning the Democratic convention, which is going to happen this summer. Is that a sign that you don't think that the President is going to be responsive to what you just described as unprecedented tonight in Michigan?

LEVIN: No. I mean, we will have uncommitted delegates from Michigan because of this big vote.

But Dana, my goal here personally was to get through to the President's campaign, that there is no political solution to this problem. I don't see how we can win the White House again without winning Michigan. And I don't think we can win Michigan unless the President changes course on Gaza.

There's no surrogates he can send. There's no wonderful advertising he can do. I mean, what a great surrogate. We have our own governor. That's not the problem. The problem is that he has to actually change course.

We need a permanent ceasefire now. We need to stop letting Benjamin Netanyahu set the boundaries of the possible. This is a person who has never been for Palestinian self-determination in his life.

I'm a Jew who cares a lot about self-determination for my people, Dana. But the only way we're going to have a secure and peaceful homeland for my people is to also realize the political and human rights of the Palestinian people.

Netanyahu won't help that happen. Okay, we've got a President who was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for so long, who's known all the leaders of Israel and Palestine for so long. He needs to now lead a peacemaking effort that can change the way voters here feel about him. There's nothing he can say. It's got to be about what he does.

BASH: Thank you. Thank you. Former Congressman Andy Levin, appreciate your time tonight.

LEVIN: Thank you.

BASH: Jonah, your thoughts?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, you can feel his passion. You can tell he's sincere. I really do think that there's a really good chance that this is not a flash in the pan, but this is the high watermark of this uncommitted thing. There's a lot of talk on Twitter.

We saw someone on the other panel talking about how they want to take this model to other states. The problem with that is that the Michigan ballot has this uncommitted line. We've been talking about that all night long.


If you start saying you're going to do this on Super Tuesday, you're going to have to ask people to write in something, right, because it's not something to check off. And none of those states, as much as there's a groundswell about this stuff, is going to match the Arab and Muslim community turnout we just saw on Dearborn.

So, it's going to turn it into a talking point that, oh, that's just that ethnic group, that identity politics group, because the number will trend down right afterwards.

CHALIAN: But as it relates to what the Congressman was saying about the importance of Michigan --


CHALIAN: -- it's 15 electoral votes.

GOLDBERG: That's fair.

CHALIAN: And what that matters, that's why we're so focused on tonight. And I think the same question we asked about the Haley vote in South Carolina and tonight is the question we ask here.

So, what slice -- it's now 40,000 votes for uncommitted. Let's say it's 100,000. What slice of that comes home to the Democrats in November and what stays resistant to Biden because of this issue? We don't have the answer to that right now, but the answer to that is going to determine how much trouble he's in in Michigan in the fall.

RAJU: Yeah. And as the leader of the House progressives just told me tonight, said that this issue, the handling of Gaza, the war of Gaza, is breaking apart the coalition. That's what she said.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks to everyone here. Our primary coverage in Michigan continues next.